Freedoms Reign – Self Titled

FreedomsReignPortraitCC

    If you are looking for an album of pure, irresistible, and thrilling heavy metal than the self-titled debut album from Freedoms Reign is a must. Certainly the release is not going to send you into new undiscovered adventures but for insatiable and uncompromising rock n roll, it is a riot to devour with greed.

Formed by original Fates Warning guitarist Victor Arduini in 2011, Freedoms Reign is his return to metal since leaving former band in 1985 after the release of The Spectre Within. Alongside the vocalist/guitarist the band consists of guitarist Tommy Vumback, bassist Michael Jones, and Chris Judge on drums. It is a formidable unit with a sound to match, the Connecticut quartet fusing old school metal with an energy and breath borne of the now. Released via Cruz Del Sur, the Nick Belmore (Toxic Holocost/Hatebreed) produced album is a brawl of energetic intensity and hungry passion sounding like the incendiary offspring of Sabbath, Kyuss, and QOTSA with a loud whisper of Fates Warming to it too. It is a scintillating ride of compelling rhythms, greedy rapacious riffs, and pure adrenaline honed into one tempest of contagious might.

From the moment Ritual flies at the ear with thumping drums, leering basslines, and flesh chewing riffs the sense of something Front Cover - resizebeyond pleasing is rife. It may only be a few seconds in but there is a feel and strength to the opening invitational assault which inspires immediate attention complete with a hope soaked grin. The track gets to work upon the passions with driving rhythms and sonic spirals of invention within the course of infectious riffing and alongside the drawing vocals of Arduini. It is expressive rock n roll with a mischief to its invention and adventure to its imagination. There is arguably nothing new on show but equally there are few rivals to its almost exhausting passion and high intensity realisation of existing aural weaponry.

From the extremely impressive start both Shadows Of A Doubt and Brother confirm the instant emotion about the album. The first of the two enslaves the senses with a rampant onslaught of intensive riffs with rhythms just as merciless whilst the vocals seal the deal with their persuasive earnestness. In many ways the track reminds of early Therapy? in the way its relentlessness comes with a hook laden intrigue and contagious forcefulness yet is enriched with flourishing melodic enterprise to temper and reinforce the temptation at large. The second of the two is a less imposing but equally as dramatic encounter with the lyrical narrative and thrilling solo leading the track into deeper ardour. Again with a greed which drives it on with no respect for allowing a breather for the listener, the song is an infectious enticement into what at this point already is a more than pleasing companion.

The outstanding Believe asserts its authority next with both Judge and Jones taking command of the senses with demanding beats and a throaty beast of a heavy riff respectively whilst around them the guitars scour the ear with caustic persistence. It is a rampaging storm of excellence ridden by the again impressive vocals. Bone splitting slaps posing as breaks herald the start of a great guitar solo whilst the bestial tones of the bass prowl and resonate through the ear drum, their impact as rich and compelling as the furnace of energy which thrusts the song forward from first note to last. Easily one of the biggest highlights on the album the track is the perfect way to leap into the release for newcomers, though any song can fit the role to be fair.

The likes of Up From Down with its doom laded presence and weighty intensity, the openly seductive To Be with its wanton harmonies and crunchy textures not forgetting corrosive sonic veining which ignites all the passions, and Long Way with its emotive shadows and impossibly absorbing sounds, all enslave the senses and emotions in very individual but equally virulent ways whilst in amongst them No Excuses unleashes another pinnacle upon the album. A ferocious blend of aggressive inventive rhythms and snarling riffs seduce the appetite into a rabid devouring of the offering whilst the broody grizzled bass tones make the prefect ally and temper to the warm expressive vocals, whilst the guitars especially in their solos, just ignite a sweltering enthrallment.

Looking Around completes the release with an opening almost chilling embrace, the guitars carving emotive lines in its air whilst the bass and vocals sculpt their own unique voices within the emerging narrative. As mesmeric as it is potently haunting, with muscular crescendos to intimidate, the track builds up an atmosphere of inevitability yet stands in its way by erupting into an explosive landscape of sinew framed intensity with a sizzling flesh burning solo surrounded by impressive vocals harmonies centre stage. It is a deliciously imaginative and skilfully painted experience which sums up the whole of the album in its majestic way. Arduini may have been away for a long while but with equally accomplished colleagues he has returned with what will be one of the best albums this year.

http://www.freedomsreignrocks.com/

9/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

The New Sheriff – BlackSwanSongs EP

new sheriff

Having been more than impressed by his previous projects, their distinctly different sounds lighting some potent passion, vocalist James Scott-Howes has stepped forward again with another unexpected but equally intriguing project in the shape of The New Sheriff. From the soulful mischievous  hip hop enterprise of Great Imitation through the startling experimental haunting adventures of Shrikes, Scott-Howes and his lyrical prowess has engaged and pushed the envelope of himself and listener but the post hardcore squalling intensity of The New Sheriff may just be his most disruptive and challenging moment yet. The Leicester based band is not all about him though, the frontman joining the accomplished and imaginative skills of guitarist Tom Whitmore, bassist Ollie Jones, and drummer Mark Abbott for a combined force which ensures attention is all theirs whilst they bruise and intrigue thoughts and senses.

With influences taken from the likes of Touche Amore, Pianos Become The Teeth, Defeater, La Dispute, At The Drive-In, and Refused, coverthe quartet create they own abrasive confrontation which takes its debut upon the BlackSwanSongs EP. The four track tempest of emotion and sonic spite is a raw and uncomfortable listen but a richly compelling and provocative one, and in no mood to take it easy on the ear from its very first tempestuous breath. Opening track Pinky Swear approaches with strokes of jangling guitar before big boned rhythms thump out their intentions alongside the dark growling bass. The combination has no problem in sparking the appetite as they set the platform for the caustic scowling attack of Scott-Howes to work senses and thoughts. As expected his lyrical stance and stylish script is magnetic but his delivery initially throwing assumptions off balance. Being used to his rapping and word crafted explorations the acidic and abrasive vocals shock and take a while to get used to but soon make the strongest persuasion. The song itself swipes and intimidates the ear yet within its full intensity, the sonic colours of the guitar casting a rich tale upon the muscular satisfying canvas.

Eternity Means Eternally steps forward next, well barges forth, with again a forceful almost rabid hunger. There is a punk grazing to the provocation especially in the group chorus which breaks out whilst the grizzled bass voice is a ravenous predator within the welcomingly wearing assault of guitar and vocals. The drums of Abbott cage and pummel the listener with excellent maliciousness especially entering its climax, and overall though the track is firmly seeded in post hardcore there is more than a whisper of the punk hardcore assault of Amen to its threatening lure.

The following Bitter Magicians restrains some of its intensity for an evocative weave of expressive guitar sculpting and less confrontational but more potent vocal suasion, the hard spoken delivery of Scott-Howes offering more clarity which certainly has essences of his previous band without losing the already in place spite or venom. As with all the songs there is no escaping or hiding from the power and intensity of the band which the EP closer In Heliotrope We Burn equally ensures. Moving from where its predecessor left off, the slower clear tones of sound and voice welcomes the ear into the impending storm of corrosive emotion and sonic spleen bred creativity, the track an inciting finale to a strong and impressive first encounter with The New Sheriff.

BlackSwanSongs suggests the band is still in the process of evolving and defining its sound and unique voice to stand out amongst a torrent of emerging post hardcore band but it is rife with promise which ignites real anticipation for their future creativity…a band to keep a close eye on indeed.

https://www.facebook.com/TheNewSheriffOfficial

8/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Revelation – Inner Harbor

    69 

    Revelation is a band many have acclaimed as providing the seeds and spark for progressive doom metal and over the years since forming in the mid-eighties, the Baltimore band has richly earned and garnered the respect of fans and bands alike for their doom clothed progressive imagination. Admittedly it is a band which has eluded our focus at The RR more often than not over that time, though occasionally we have dipped into their melancholic familiar yet distinct sound without finding the spark to spending an intensive time with them. The release of new album Inner Harbor via Shadow Kingdom, with a vinyl version through Pariah Child, has changed that. The enthralling six track release is not destined to worry end of year best of selections nor send us diving into their back catalogue more intensively but it has a charm and intrigue which makes it hard to leave it alone.

The trio of guitarist/vocalist John Brenner, bassist Bert Hall Jr., and drummer Steve Branagan, have stepped forth with a new, for arguments sake direction for their songwriting and aural presence, Inner Harbor a mellower and warmer seductive persuasion compared to their expected heavier stance. It still carries heavy enveloping shadows and crawling alluring atmospheres rife with intensity but there is an air of light and playful energy which arguably has not featured in their creativity before. It is a relaxed and laid-back encounter with weaves and calming washes of progressive temptation taking the lead before their darker absorbing doom intent. The presence of seventies Italian progressive rock as an influence to the release has been cited and certainly across the tracks thoughts of Goblin were playing upon the surface of thoughts, but the release has many textures and flavours at work and is wonderfully hard to pin down. It is also a little inconsistent and even after multiple intensive plays the final opinion of it is undecided. It is definitely an enjoyable and as mentioned wholly intriguing album which refuses to let go but it never really lights any fires within for a long enough or truly lasting impact but there is still something which calls one back.

The album opens with the fiery breath of the title track, its stoner blues introduction a cautious but inviting welcome especially with the flame of sonic fire from the guitar. As the vocals join the song drops into a reserved stance and loses that initially grip, though the track still holds a healthy attention. The vocals are fine without inspiring any real reaction, their expressionless style lacking against the sounds and almost pulling them into a similarly less than dynamic voice, and in many ways the track epitomises the album. It does not leave flushes of thrills but there is something to it which magnetises and persistently invites an inquisitive appetite. The climax of the song with its teasing groove and lead laden prowl leaves thoughts in question and emotions feeling equally short-changed but equally hungry for more.

The following Terribilita with its abrasive tone and sonic blaze of craft and invention again opens up a depth of interest like the first and with the following sway of the keys instantly offers something new and compelling. Also like its predecessor the song almost taunts and teases the passions into life but lacks the weaponry to seal the deal, the melodic caresses and vocal arms around the shoulder mellowness verging on soporific. It is a deceptive lure though as again the band save the best moments of the track for its electrifying conclusion, the charged groove and elevated pace still veined by the electro brilliance, a rousing crescendo.

Rebecca at the Well opens with an excellent almost vintage punk groove and intensity, the guitars and bass holding a snarl to their intent which is lacking in the previous songs. The heavily gaited breath of the sound has a L7/Damned like spice whilst the drop into the dark slowly consuming bowels of the track for a moment is a predatory menace soon dispelled by the bright hypnotic groove and mutually lit synths which ushers it away. With more than a post punk whisper to it the track is an enticing piece of invention and the highlight of the album though soon challenged by Eve Separated and the outstanding Jones Falls. The first of the pair offers its own addictive hook and groove combination whilst the vocals again without taking a firm grip bring a strong and eager melodic embrace, especially in the adjoining harmonies. Though finding the same problem as the earlier songs in that it has moments where it brings real excitement in between others which only leave a respectful satisfaction, the track undoubtedly beckons with enough to want to share its presence again. The second of the pair starts off with a feel of The Stranglers soon merging with Sabbath like imposing riffs and a sonic growl. Into its stride the track unveils eighties electro shimmering, its acidic touch an unexpected and exciting contagious co-conspirator with the best vocal performance on the album. The song is a bewitching journey through a landscape of ideas and colourful aural scenery, bright yet as across the album not quite finding the clarity to explosively dazzle. It is a great track though and adds to the allure of Inner Harbor even if not able to force a full adoration for the whole release.

Ending with An Allegory Of Want, an enveloping heady want of oppressive air and lumbering emotive, Inner Harbor is a release that will possibly open up a wider presence for Revelation. It does not leave a burning hunger in its wake but plants seeds of that irresistible intrigue which makes persistent entry into its almost puzzling realm a given.

7.5/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Delain – Interlude

delain02272013-2

Released via Napalm Records, Interlude the new album from Dutch symphonic metallers Delain is a vibrant mix of new songs, covers, special versions of popular band songs and live tracks. It is a release which we will admit raised some doubts before it had the chance to unleash its persuasion upon the ear but soon cast those uncertainties aside emerging as an impressive album which will please their most loyal fans and all newcomers.

The first release on their new label, Interlude is as it suggests, a creative aside or as they say on the promo sheet a thank you to 483_DELAINtheir supporters in the wait for a new full release but it is more than a mere stop-gap with the energetic and potent breath infusing old and new tunes The first two tracks on the album are new songs and immediately dispel also thoughts that maybe this is the end of a chapter for the band before a new direction and stance. They are prime Delain continuing their established and welcomed sound but equally do offer a fresh and pleasing voice to their creativity to date. Opener Breathe On Me is an instant warm whisper upon the ear before the grumbling bass adds its presence and the guitars shape the air with their coarse scrubs within the symphonic winds gently swaying across the senses. The voice of Charlotte Wessels is as exceptional as ever, her angelic tones the perfect balance to the fiery intensity and melodic weaves. It is an impressive and inviting start, its anthemic warmth and magnetic melodic temptation as irresistible as the sinewy frame and burning fires surrounding their grandeur, whilst not for the first time the bass of Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije leaves a greedy want within the passions.

The following Collars And Suits stands tall with an epic entrance of soaring scything syncs as well as tight manipulative guitar enticement from Timo Somers speared by the thumping commanding rhythms of Sander Zoer. Whilst not quite as contagious and tempting as its predecessor the track engages the passions skilfully and relentlessly, the harsher elements recruiting the passions for the melodic grace and vocal brilliance to toy with. The symphonic swerves of triumphant sounds grin as if in escape from a shadowed cage with the darker tones and corrosive lining beneath the protection for the glowing horizon they create. It is musically poetic and emotive, its presence inspiring numerous thoughts to go with the lyrical narrative.

Next up Are You Done With Me comes in a single mix version compared to its appearance on their recent album and is a strong and powerful companion to the previous songs but does not quite find their heights or rich lures. As one expects from Delain it is immensely emotive and gloriously melodic with a superbly honed intent. It makes way for a trio of cover songs starting with Such a Shame the Talk Talk track. To be honest its initial touch did not inspire great hopes but once the band stepped from the expressive yet gentle opening into an elevated  passion and energy the song took off with enthused satisfaction  in tow something the semi-acoustic version of The Cranberries song Cordell could not ignite. It is a more than decent song though which showcases the wonderful vice of Wessels in its varied glories and makes for easily pleasing company before the excellent take on Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy. Not a song to raise more than an eyebrow in its original guise, Delain treat it to their masterful caresses and formidable creative might, infusing it with more life and temptation than it probably deserves. They do not really change its face or body but with the keys of Martijn Westerholt as impressive as any element the band lights the heart it arguably lacks in the original.

A ballad version of We are the Others is another which is enjoyable in its company but does not light anything more than temporary pleasure though again it is hard to dismiss its craft and beauty. It is soon and easily forgotten once the live tracks come into view. It is the best part of the album with the stage offerings of Mother Machine, Get The Devil Out Of Me, and Not Enough especially standing out though all six of the songs show Delain as a mighty live proposition to rival or arguably exceed their studio work.

Also available in a limited edition digipack with a second DVD disc of videos, Interlude is a great proposition for all Delain fans new and old. There were doubts approaching it but all were dispelled with ease by release and band, an album to appease the appetite during the wait for their next full length outing.

http://www.delain.nl/

8/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com